Recent advances in “Artificial Intelligence” (AI) have been quite impressive.
It is well worth everyone being aware of what is currently possible, to consider:
- how employment will change, and to prepare for that now
- just how powerful such technology will be in future, possibly revolutionary (like the internet, smart phones and Google have been)
- how easy it will be to create convincing misinformation
- the effects on education (both benefits and challenges)
We’ve collected a few examples of current AI technologies for you to see and even try for yourself, further down this page. We strongly encourage you to try them, as on first glance, some of the more socially popular implementations may be easily dismissed as gimmicky, making it difficult to appreciate the broad and profound applications of AI.
There are already great potential benefits available to students who understand how to use AI tools to their benefit. But they must familiarise themselves with the tools to use them to their advantage judiciously, in full knowledge of both the strengths and weaknesses of the various existing and emerging AI technologies. Just as the full extent of AI’s abilities aren’t immediately obvious, AI’s limitations and potential downsides can be obscured by its convincing output.
At this point in writing this, I wondered to myself why I wasn’t just getting AI to write this for me… so I instructed the ChatGPT AI to finish it, and in a few few seconds, it had done what would have taken me possibly 30 minutes to ideate, research, structure, write, proof and edit. It’s worth reading below what it wrote for me, and worth keeping in mind that it is all completely machine generated word by word, in a few seconds. And if I hadn’t told you that, would you have thought so?
So, here below are examples of current AI implementations, in written language, images, speech, coding:
Written Language AI (OpenAI ChatGPT)
Image Creation from Natural Speech (DALL-E 2)
Text to Speech Synthesizer – (VALL-E)
AI Website builder
There are others out there, for music, video, creative writing, and more. Imagine a near future in which all these combine.
Written Language AI – OpenAI ChatGPT
I already gave an example above of the power of ChatGPT to help write this blog.
It’s currently free to sign up and try it yourself. (January 2023) And I really think that is the only way to appreciate it.
ChatGPT basically just predicts the most likely next word, over and over, based on its training input and the input you give it, until it has created a whole text. It has some inherent limitations, like not having a sense of truth or accuracy, so while the text can seem extremely plausible and convincing, the factual content can be false. There are also some safeguard limitations imposed by the programmers, such as filters for inappropriate content.
Yesterday I copied and pasted the task sheet for a Year 12 English assessment, and the power of the output is stunning! Although, it wouldn’t necessarily earn an A when marked against the criteria. However, because ChatGPT ‘remembers’ everything you’ve said to it in the current ‘conversation’, I then played around to refine and adjust the output. What it gave me was gold for a conscientious student who knows how to check and build on the information appropriately. Of course, there are less conscientious students who will simply try to pass off ChatGPT content as their own rather than use it as a learning tool.
The effects of AI on education is a huge topic… for another time.
Image from Natural Speech or Images – DALL-E 2
Creates or edits images:
- from written descriptions, like “A foyer display in a tuition centre which informs students about how AI will revolutionise their lives”:
- or, by imitating other images (each left-most image is a real photo, the rest are AI generated):
- or, by adding to or changing existing images from written descriptions:
Text to Speech Synthesizer – VALL-E
Analyses 3 seconds of anyone’s voice to then imitate them saying anything. It with proper emphasis, and with any emotion, without need for context.
This one is not open to public use, but there are samples of the AI produced voices on their website. Here’s a little explanation of the various sound clips before you click through to their website to hear for yourself:
AI Website builder
Input a business name and an industry, and this AI builds a website for it in a few seconds, generating layout, pictures, and original written content like descriptions of services, and realistic fake reviews.
We had it generate a website for a ‘tutoring’ business called Extended Learning Centres. Then we asked it to do another one to compare.
|1st site||2nd site|